Julian Edward Wood

Of all the Founders, perhaps most famed in legend is Julian Edward Wood. The son of William Edward and Sophia Marchant (Trotman) Wood, he was born on May 3, 1844 in Currituck County, North Carolina. Wood was eager for military action and, although only high school age, he was among the first volunteers for service in the Confderate Army. He was assigned to drilling troops from his native eastern North Carolina as early as June 1861, and spent the rest of that year as a drill master. Because his father insisted that he further his education, Wood, entered V.M.I. at age 18 on January 9, 1862. Wood was a corporal in Company C in the V.M.I. Cade Corps which was ordered in May 1864 to join the Confederate Army of Major General John C. Breckinridge, who was attempting to stop a Union advance up the Shenandoah Valley. At New Market, on May 15, 1864, a corps of 247 teenage V.M.I. cadets with no battle experience, including Wood, held a sector of Confederate front line against an assault by seasoned Federal troops headed by Major General Franz Sigel. In this battle, Wood was "on the colors," urging the cadet colors onward with the V.M.I. Cadet flag, rather than the Confederate flag. Federal troops seeing it are reported to have assumed that troops of a foreign nation had joined forces with Breckinridge's troops. In 1867, Wood entered the University of Virginia to study medicine. He stayed at the University for two years, then finished his M.D. degree at Baltimore Medical College in 1869. At the completion of his education, he practiced medicine in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. He married Mary Scott and they had two children, a son and a daughter. Throughout his life, Wood continued his interest in the military; he was connected wit the militia nad attained the rank of colonel. He died on June 2, 1911, at the age of 67, after having suffered a severe illness the previous year. He is buried in cemetery in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.